Almond Torte With Chocolate Chips (Torta di mandorle) from Lidia’s Italy

My mom gave me this recipe after watching the amazing Lidia make it on her show. You will need a 10 inch springform pan and some will power. This cake is even better the day after its baked..and the day after that…capiche?

Almond Torte by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
makes: one 10-inch cake

Find the recipe here (page 5 of Lidia’s Dessert Recipes)



Tyler’s Chocolate Cherry Bombe

Hello Daddy Hello Mom….can you name that song? I remember the day I made this. It was a few years ago for Father’s Day and I was looking to impress my Dad & taste this delicious recipe that I saw Tyler Florence make on the Food Network. It was everything I thought it would be..chocolate, cherries, pistachios, whipped cream..O MY..and although it may sound fancy, really the hardest part is probably the time spent pitting the cherries…oh and popping those pistachios out of their shells. Try this if you want to will not regret it. I am going to make this and many other recipes again soon so that I can share pictures. Poor me. 🙂
Chocolate Cherry Bombe (Tyler Florence Recipe)
Total Time 13 hr 10 min (45 min prep, 12 hrs inactive aka chill time, and 25 min cook time)
Yield 6-8 Servings *You will need a 1 1/2 quart stainless or glass bowl and plastic wrap..and room in the freezer..*
2 pounds fresh cherries, pitted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons brandy or cherry syrup (Recommended: Kirsch or Torani syrup)
3/4 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks
Line a 1 1/2 quart glass bowl with plastic wrap, leaving enough excess hanging over the edge, and stick it in the freezer. In a medium pot, combine cherries, 1 cup of the sugar, lemon juice and 3/4 cup of water. Simmer over medium-high heat until the juice from the cherries is released and the fruit is soft, about 20 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to make a slurry and add it to the cherry mixture. Simmer, stirring, for another 2 min to thicken. Remove the cherry sauce from the heat, you should have about 4 cups. Put the cherry sauce in the freezer or in an ice bath to chill until cold.
Using a wire whisk (or your mixer with whisk attachment), beat 2 cups of heavy cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, FOLD the whipped cream into half of the cherry mixture (2 cups) to make a light mousse — DO NOT OVERMIX! Gently fold in pistachios. Take the plasticwrap-lined bowl out of the freezer and spoon the mousse into it, filling all the way to top, and spreading evenly around the rim of the bowl. Freeze again for at least 8 hours, so that the mousse can set up.
Heat the remaining 1 cup of cream and the chocolate in a pot over medium-low. Stir to melt the chocolate completely. Cool until warm to the touch while still pourable.
Take the bowl of cherry mousse out of the freezer and invert it, bottom-side up, on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. Carefully peel off the plastic. Pour the chocolate ganache over the cherry bombe to cover it completely, while excess drips onto sheet pan. Place back in freezer to chill. Use flat spatulas to move bombe from wire rack to a chilled platter. Cut into wedges and serve with reserved cherry sauce. (you can warm reserved sauce on stovetop on low if you’d like..)

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins (from the brown eyed baker blog)

I made these muffins back in the chilly month of February…when I was dreaming of those HUGE Costco muffins that we bought before we realized they were actually the size of…well…they are just too big to have on a regular basis. Anyway, I did not have to search far for this muffin that I was wishing & hoping & dreaming of. This recipe is from the Brown Eyed Baker..she ROCKS!

Find Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffin recipe here 🙂

Martha’s Cashew Caramel Cookies

Martha Stewart’s Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen

For Cookies:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
For Caramel Drizzle:
24 cubes soft caramel candy (7oz)
1/4 cup heavy cream
(I used Caramel from my local farmers market…and the cookies were SO good and a crowd pleaser, they would be more than fine without the caramel topping!)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift flour and salt & set aside. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews; set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil, process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes. Put cashew mixture, butter and sugars in bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until fluffy- about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs & vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and space 2 inches apart on parchment paper or silpat. Bake 6 minutes, then take out of the oven and gently flatten with spatula, then Bake 6-7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
To make the caramel drizzle: melt caramel & cream on LOW heat, stirring constantly. Let cool. Use a spoon to lightly drizzle back and forth over each cookie. Let set and store in airtight containers in single layers. I don’t care what anyone says..I LOVE MARTHA…and I’m going to miss OPRAH… 😦

Blueberry Coffee Cake

I know what you’re thinking. I eat blueberries on the regular because they are one of the fountain of youth foods. I should. But I usually just bake them into muffins and cakes and call it a day. I found this recipe on the cooking during stolen moments blog, listed in the blogroll below and have made it a few times. My dad loves it. Someone told me a fight almost broke out over this cake. It is light and lovely. Thank heavens for foodie blogs and bluberries.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (from Cooking During Stolen Moments)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs-separated
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 (or less) cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13×9 pan, or a size close to it… Combine flour and sugar. Cut butter into this mixture until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup crumbs for the topping. Add baking powder, egg yolks, milk & vanilla to remaining crumbs and beat about 1 minute. Whisk reserved egg whites until soft peaks form. If you have an electric mixer, use it, if not, be ready to feel the burn..whisking egg whites? Perhaps that’s how Michelle Obama got those toned arms. Um, no. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle reserved crumbs evenly over batter. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and fully cooked through. This cake will not last long if you have a few people around, so don’t worry about how long it will keep etc. It is DELICIOUS 🙂

Zucchini Bread

I love love love this recipe. The paper that its written on says it all. Big circular grease stains on the recipe = good stuff.

Emeril Lagasse’s Warm Zucchini Bread

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon (or more if you like) cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoonsalt
1 egg
1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (finely grated or chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 8x4x2″ loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Combine butter, oil, sugar in a large bowl and using an electric mixer or by hand, beat until creamy and smooth. Sift flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt and set aside. (If you don’t have a sifter put ingredients in a bowl and whisk together 🙂 ) Add egg to creamy smooth mixture and mix well. Add sifted flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth. Squeeze and drain shredded zucchini. Fold zucchini, walnuts, lemon zest into batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake 55-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Emeril says to serve warm with butter…and I AGREE!

Beans Banana Bread

I won’t lie, the original recipe came with an amazing Wilton loaf pan made in Portugal.  I got it when I was on a trip abroad to Connecticut at Marshalls or T.J. Maxx.  Ah the home section.  All the trappings for the perfect bakehouse.  Back to this adored recipe.  Is it the ceramique pan?  Hopefully this recipe will stand up in any pan..  One tip to share is the browner the banana the sweeter the bread.  Of coarse you don’t want a completely fuzzy brown moldy banana…save that for the science lab.  I have made many variations, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes, you’d like a sweet topping, and other times there is a need to add chocolate.

Banana Walnut Bread 8-10 Servings
Optional Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Bread Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe medium size bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly spray pan with veg spray can stuff or butter the pan. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; mix until it resembles coarse crumbs..set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with mixer or by hand until light and fluffy. Add eggs (preferably local free range and lovely), bananas, and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture; mix just until blended. (Do not overmix.) Gently stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly…Sprinkle topping evenly over batter and bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.